Friday, March 20, 2009

Sensex ends week in red; down 35 points close at 8966

The Sensex ended flat at 8,966, down 35 points, on profit booking, with very little support from the global markets. But for this week, the benchmark index gained 2.3 per cent, its second consecutive weekly gain.

The Nifty remained unchanged at 2,807.

“The markets have consolidated well in the last few days and it looks like Nifty would cross 2850 levesl. The commodity market is likely to be the real trigger for the equity markets,” said Bharat Sheth, President Institutional Sales, Techno Shares & Stock Broking.

Realty stocks were the key draggers for the markets. The BSE realty index plunged 4.1 per cent. Akruti City took a huge knock today and the stock plummeted 27.8 per cent to Rs 1,607. Other major losers in the realty space were Anant Raj Industries, Parsvnath Developers and HDIL, down more than 2.4 per cent each.

The BSE capital goods index fell 2.5 per cent and Thermax, Crompton Greaves and L&T.

The banking index on the BSE fell nearly 2 per cent and the BSE auto index slid 1.3 per cent.

On the other hand, metal stocks gained in today’s trade. The metal index on the BSE gained 1.6 per cent and Gujarat NRE Coke, Hindalco and Jai Corp were the major gainers in the pack. Gujarat NRE Coke zoomed 11.5 per cent to Rs 20.

“It is to be seen whether this rally sustains over a period of time. For the Nifty, the upside is likely to remain capped at 2950 till the general elections,” said Prashastha Seth, senior fund manager with IIFL Wealth, India Infoline.

Among the Sensex scrips, 13 stocks advanced while the remaining 17 stocks declined. Hindalco, up 5.7 per cent, led the gainers. ONGC, Tata Steel and Sun Pharma were the other major gainers in the pack. However, Tata Motors, fell 6.2 per cent and it was the biggest loser among the Sensex stocks. Major losers in the group were ICICI Bank, L&T and Maruti.

Among other stock indicators, the BSE small cap index rose 0.5 per cent while the BSE mid cap index ended 0.5 per cent down.

Asian stock markets were mixed on Friday as investors turned cautious amid worries the US Federal Reserve's latest move to combat recession in the world's largest economy will lead to rampant inflation.

Trade was lackluster in most markets, with Tokyo closed for a holiday, as the region closed out one of its strongest weeks this year with a whimper.

Sentiment took a hit after Wall Street's rally petered out on Thursday. U.S. investor euphoria over the central bank's aggressive $1.2 trillion plan to buy government bonds and debt securities gave way to fears the new spending could water down the dollar's worth and lead to higher prices across the board.

Those concerns have pummeled the dollar, which stabilized in Asia but was still headed for a 4 percent loss against the yen this week. A weaker dollar is especially unnerving in Asia, where it hurts big exporters in Japan and other countries by eroding foreign income.

While the market may see more upside, analysts were doubtful the current rally could be sustained much longer with continuing woes in the financial system and the global outlook still grim.

"I don't think anyone reasonably expects this to be a long-term rally or that we've hit bottom," said Andrew Orchard, Asian strategist for Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong. "The problems with the financial system are still unknown."

Hong Kong's Hang Seng led Asia's declines, falling 297.41 points, or 2.3 percent, to 12,833.51, and Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 stock index lost 0.4 percent to 3,465.8. Taiwan's benchmark sagged 1.5 percent.

Stocks in mainland China rose for a fifth day, with the Shanghai Composite advancing 0.7 percent to 2,281.09. South Korea's Kospi climbed 0.8 percent to 1,171.04.

Source: profit.ndtv.com

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